More Than Meets the Eye, True Stories about Death, Dying, and Afterlife covers many aspects of the dying and grieving process and sheds light on euthanasia, suicide, near-death experience, and spirit visits after the passing of a loved one. ___________________________________________

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sea Burial

Burial at sea services or sea burials are available at many different locations and with many different customs, either by ship or by aircraft. Usually, either the captain (or commanding officer) of the ship or aircraft or a representative of the religion performs the ceremony. Legally, a captain can bury remains at sea, provided that environmental regulations are satisfied. In the U.S. ashes have to be scattered at least three (3) nautical miles (3.5 mi / 5.6 km) from shore, and bodies can be given to the sea if the location is at least 600 feet (200 m) deep. Special regulations may also apply to the urns and coffins."

Another form of sea burial that is gaining in popularity due to it's ecological benefits is to have your ashes made into an artificial reef. These reefs are deployed off the Coast of San Diego/Mexico and also in the warm waters of beautiful Belize.

A non-profit company on the west coast called My Living Reef, lovingly preserves the ashes of the departed by incorporating the cremains into an organic and marine friendly compound. This compound is cast in a reef mold and is left to cure. The end result is a reef "structure" that is scientifically designed to mimic the habitat of hundreds of species of marine life. These reefs reduce species extinction rates, enhance marine biodiversity, and they help to restore over fished waters.

Historically, burial at sea meant to simply dispose of the body by leaving it in the open ocean. This practice was necessary due to the facilities on board vessels that may be at sea for more than a year or more. Environmentally, this practice is conducive to marine ecosystems due to the nutrients the body provides. This practice is largely outdated and with the growing popularity of cremation on the rise, transforming the ashes of the departed into something environmentally beneficial is the next eco logical step in the burial industry.

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